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Modems - Dummies Guide

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  1. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Modem installation for the Samsung Galaxy S2... i9100, i9100M, i9100P & i9100T***, only and no other variant.

    (If you are unsure of the model of your phone, go to Settings > About phone > Model number)

    What is a Modem?

    A modem, (sometimes referred to as a radio or baseband), is a driver that controls the sending and receiving of your mobile Network signals as well as switching between GPRS, 3G and HSDPA. It does not control Wi-Fi or the switchover between mobile signal and Wi-Fi. That is the job of the kernel. To locate your current modem details, go to... Settings > About phone > Baseband version.

    Modems are not firmware specific.*** You can install any modem for the Galaxy S2 to any firmware, (*** T variants have their own modem version for network compatability), unlike kernels and ROMs. The only thing that I have found is that some, "area", modems do not work well for me in Europe, i.e. DX = Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam or ZS = China, Hong Kong or JP = Arabic, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria. For details of country designations, see here.

    There is no such thing as, "the best modem". It depends entirely on your location, operator and signal strength. The latest modem may not be the best for you, as I have found out. These are the one's that generally work... KE7, KH3, KI3, KI4, KL1, LPS, LPX, NEKF2, NELP2, NELP3 & BVLP7.

    Why is a good modem important?

    If your phone has to constanly search for signals and lock on to them it not only gives you a poor call and data quality but also drains your battery.

    For more information on modems and their uses, see this excellent post by geko95gek over on the xda forum here.

    Installation instructions (please read carefully and thoroughly)

    You will need to be rooted, see here, and have ClockWorkMod, (CWM), installed.

    Before doing anything further you should do a nandroid and Titanium backup.

    You should also install Root Explorer, or a similar file manager, and use it to navigate to the, "/efs", file in the root directory of the phone and make a copy of this and put it on both your external SD card and PC as its loss or corruption in future could render your phone unusable and require a Samsung repair.

    These are your, "Get out of jail FREE" cards in case anything goes wrong, now or in the future.

    (N.B. Please note that a nandroid backup and restore does not include your modem. Therefore, to change your modem you will need to re-flash.)

    Modem download sources

    There are a number of places to obtain modems...

    Modem+RIL CWM Installers by Hawker. As the link suggests, these incorporate the RIL, (Radio Interface Layer), mentioned below.

    (*** Whilst the modems are interchangeable between GB, ICS and JB, you must use JB RIL's on JB firmware only... GB and ICS RIL's are interchangeable.)

    Latest i9100 modems

    Galaxy S 2 Shipped Modem Collection

    Index of Radios

    *** T variant modems, see here.

    Modems that are getting good reviews from Canadian network users are... UGLD3 and XXKG6.

    Download the .zip version of the modem and place it on your external SD card, safest place, (if you downloaded them using your phone they will be in... "/sdcard/Download"), and then go into CWM Recovery and select, "install zip from sdcard", followed by, "choose .zip from sdcard", and then navigate down the menu until you get to the modem name and install it and then reboot your phone.

    After installing a new modem, I carry out the following procedure...

    1. Settings > Wireless and network > More > Mobile networks > Network operators.

    2. Let the screen populate with all the available carriers.

    3. Select a carrier that is not your own. You will be told, after trying to connect, not allowed or No way Jose.

    4. Repeat this with one or two other non carriers.

    5. Finally, select your own carrier, Automatic, and reconnect your phone again.

    This procedure should ensure that your phone locks on to the strongest signal for your carrier.

    I normally give a modem 1 or 2 days to, "bed", in before deciding if it is any good or not. As well as testing it in various locations and different times of day.

    App's for modems

    GetRIL from the Play Store, attempts to match RIL, (Radio Interface Layer), with your modem for a more efficient operation.

    Network Signal Info free from the Play Store. Very useful for testing, "most", modems on network and Wi-Fi signals. However, it does sometimes have a problem with the SGSII in getting a reading other than -85dBm on certain modems.

    Speedtest.net free from the Play Store. Great app for testing your download and upload speeds.

    (Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this guide, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that may occur through its use and the decision to use this guide lies with you, the owner. This guide is written solely for, and on behalf of, Android Forums and may not be reproduced, in part or whole, without permission)

    ironass motto... "Flash in haste... repent at leisure"

  2. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    As requested by ironass his dummies guide to flashing modems has been copied into my op of this thread.
  3. Hawker

    Hawker Well-Known Member

    I would have thought it would be better to keep the 2 separate Shotty, but instead of ironass's post itself in your Post#1 here, link to ironass' guide. The dummies guide links to here, so it would be wasy to switch between the two.

    This way you won't have to be the middle man if ironass wants to make any amendments to his post.

    Have a word with the old man mate and see what he thinks.....He'll probably say for me to crawl back into my Welsh cave as usual! :)
  4. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    I think his reasoning behind it was that there would be a lot of questions asked about the performance of the modems which had already been answered in this thread. I did suggest putting his post as the op of but he wanted to be able to crack the whip when I wasn't keeping up to date with my thread.:ridinghorse:
  5. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member


    It hurts me to say this Shotty, especially after you have been so obliging, but the old Welsh Wizard might be right. :banghead:

    I say this as he has PM'd me with a couple of suggested minor amendments that I'm going to make to the Guides.

    Sorry mate... just trying to keep everything in one thread... but it won't work. :stupido:

    Apologies for messing you about. :shot:

    (What can I say mate... seemed like a good idea at the time!)
  6. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    No problem mate. Although why do I get the feeling you did that on purpose?:p
  7. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    You're giving me far too much credit for thinking Shotty! :stupido3:

    Actually, if the Dummies Guide was wrong... I wanted you to be responsible....

    Oh! and get on your case about being tardy with the modems. ;)

    Honestly Shotty, it wasn't me! Girl Guides honour! :angel:

    God help us if they ever build a bridge across the River Severn to link Wales with England...

    oh, wait a minute! :ahhhhh:
    Shotgun84 likes this.
  8. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Just thought I would add the BVLP7 modem to the list of modems that seem to work for a lot of people.

    This modem is from the Orange, UK, firmware for the, "P", variant but works great on the GT-i9100 as well.
  9. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    I installed this GetRIL app and it says that "RIL/baseband doesn't match." Should I download and install RIL as suggested by the app? What exactly does this change, and what is the benefit/downside of doing this?

    Your how-to guide didn't explain that part... sorry if it is a dumb question.
  10. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    For a layman's explanation of the RIl, (Radio Interface Layer), see, here.
    FirebirdStud likes this.
  11. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Your threads are most helpful! I for one am really glad you are on this board. It is people like you that make everyone else have phones that work slicker than snot and don't have to live with a shitty stock phone.

    Thanks mate!!
  12. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Ok, now that I updated the RIL I have another issue! See the attached screenshot. What does this mean?


    I sent an email as instructed, but I was wondering if you have seen this before??
  13. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Luckily for you, I have a quicker way of getting a matching RIL and kernel for MUGLD3! :D

    Thanks to our very own resident boffin, Hawker, I can direct you to his xda developers thread, entitled, "Modem+RIL CWM Installers", which has both the MUGLD3 kernel and matching RIL that you can download and flash via CWM.

    Just go to Hawker's thread and download the combo from there.

    (Whatever you do... do not thank Hawker. He'll gloat and be unbearable for weeks ;) )
    FirebirdStud likes this.
  14. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Worked like a charm! We shall see how it performs now. :)


    Thanks again!
  15. Hawker

    Hawker Well-Known Member

    Don't rely on GetRIL to report if modem/RIL matches, as its database is out of date and logic incorrect for several combinations.

    Following the modem/ril xda thread, the developer of GetRIL has said he will use the thread to update the app shortly.
  16. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    I did go over to xda and download that modem/RIL package. So his database is up to date for that package anyway since the GetRIL app comes up green. :)
  17. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    I am curious, since I upgraded to Android 4.0.4, I imediately put the UGLD3 modem with matching RIL back on the phone. I am no longer getting H+, where I used to running android 4.0.3. Is it true that I should now only be trying modems that are pulled off of 4.0.4 now? If so, how can I reinstall the factory modem that came with the update? Over at XDA they are not showing the modem that matches my baseband: BULP8.

    So which modem should I use now if I cant reinstall the modem that came with this update?
  18. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Post #1

    The latest firmware for North American/Canadian GT-i9100's is Android 4.0.3 which contains the UGLD3 modem. If, for whatever reason, this is no longer performing as expected, you can either revert back to Android 4.0.3 or its just a case of starting from scratch to see which modem works best for you.

    As for re-installing the modem that came with your updated firmware, just Google which modem it was and flash it as per post #1.
  19. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Ok. If I wanted to revert to 4.0.3, is that a case of factory resetting the phone and using odin to install the file? (I already have it from before, but the OTA update took hold as soon as I turned the phone on.)

    I tried the google search and it didn't bring up that modem, only other people's request for it on different forums. It did bring up some German and Spanish sites, but I cant read what it says so I dont know if the modem is contained there or not. :confused:

    Can I install a 4.0.3 modem onto the 4.0.4 operating system? Or does that cause issues? You first post doesn't make that distinction, as it currently reads I should be able to install any modem with any operating system. I just want to verify this before I do it. :D
  20. sntaylor

    sntaylor Well-Known Member Contributor

    I'm Pretty Sure You Are Safe To Instal Even A Gingerbread Modem With A Jelly Bean ROM, Its Just That It Might Not Work As Well As A Jelly Bean One Would... But It Is Really Just Trial And Error To Find The Best One For You :)
  21. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Great! So the only real issue is making sure I get the properly matched RIL and modem packages to flash, correct?
  22. sntaylor

    sntaylor Well-Known Member Contributor

    Its Better If You Can, Otherwise, You Can Flash The Modem Them Use Get Ril, Though I Believe There May Have Been A Few Issues With It Recently...... I'm Sure Someone Will Correct Me If I'm Wrong On That.... But If You Can Find Full Package To Flash, Go For It! :)
  23. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Modem+RIL link in post #1. :rolleyes:
  24. Nagrom

    Nagrom Well-Known Member

    Hi Guys.

    Thanks Iron Ass for this, as a new modem had been recommended to me to fix my video problem. I just can't figure out which is the right one.

    I'm in the UK, and on Vodafone. I needa sock modem for the 9100.

    Which is the right one?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

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